As this article by Moses Ma, a business consultant, published by Psychology Today explains, the adage “Innovation loves a crisis” is a product of the brain’s neuroplasticity. When humans experience a major stressor, at least some humans react by stretching, by thinking and learning to a new degree. Ma uses the example of the Apollo 13 mission crisis as an example of how stress can lead to meaningful innovation.

Of course, good ideas are only valuable to the extent that we implement them. Ma argues in the linked article that innovation is even more a matter of courage than a matter of brains. I agree. In this 2014 article by Jeff Haden published by Entrepreneur, the author explains the “8 Qualities That Make Bosses Unforgettable.” (Confession: I really like this article and may come back to it in a future post.) Haden’s second quality of unforgettable bosses is that “They see opportunity in instability and uncertainty” and eighth quality is that “They take real, not fake, risks.”

The challenges facing legal education in the 2010s are not as dire or dramatic as those the crew and NASA confronted during the Apollo 13 mission crisis. And the changes law schools are making may be uninteresting to those who are not legal educators, but law faculty and deans have chosen to respond to our challenges by innovating. This blog is an effort to celebrate extraordinary innovations in legal education; most, but not all, of the innovations are ones that have been implemented during what all agree is a crisis in legal education.

In each blog entry, excluding this one, I will describe an innovation at a law school (other than an innovation at the law school where I work, University of Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law) and then share my views as to why the innovation is worth noting and even, perhaps, emulating.